Hosting Pakistani Educators, Highlighting Scientific Research
An International Presence
For the eighth consecutive year, the month of July has brought to the Plymouth campus a remarkable delegation of educators from Pakistan. The 40 participants in this year’s Pakistani Educational Leadership Institute (PELI) represent all regions of their country, from mountainous rural areas to the heavily populated cities of Karachi and Islamabad; they are prominent educators in key roles supporting teacher training and systemic reform. The Institute is funded by the U.S. Department of State, led by PSU’s Blake Allen, and administered through the College of Graduate Studies. It includes an intensive month-long program of academic coursework and activities centering on leadership development, environmental awareness, and conflict resolution, followed by extensive projects that the participants complete after their return to Pakistan. Developing ties with Pakistani institutions are expected to provide opportunities for enrichment and eventual longer-term visits by students and faculty, in both directions.
An alumnus of the Pakistani Educational Leadership Institute made the video above about his time at Plymouth State this summer.
Grad Student Records Go Paperless
The College has spent the summer preparing for—and then rolling out—an electronic process for handling and maintaining all student admissions and records. This is the biggest change in our business processes in many years, and has required the concerted efforts of nearly all our staff members, as well as all program coordinators, who review applications and render admissions decisions. Going forward, all new student records will be in electronic form, and this fall we will begin converting (scanning and indexing) the paper files of already-enrolled students as well. All of this is part of our goal of serving our students efficiently and well, and follows the work begun on the PSU undergraduate side a year ago.
Supporting Students through Graduate Assistantships
Each year our graduate students fill key support positions at PSU through the College’s Graduate Assistantship (GA) program. Some GAs play key roles in undergraduate instruction—teaching biology labs or first-year composition classes—while others might assist in the Campus Counseling Center, advise students in University Studies, or compile information for accreditation reports. Each GA receives a stipend for the hours they devote weekly to their duties, plus tuition waivers for graduate classes. In the 2011-12 academic year, the College will provide more than $600,000 in funding for 62 GA positions. GAs are selected each spring for the following year, and interested students are encouraged to speak with their advisors, department chairs, or College of Graduate Studies staff to learn more.
Hosting Campus-Wide Research Showcase
Twenty-nine poster presentations by 54 students (7 grad, 47 undergrad) and 11 faculty from 7 departments, an estimated 200 visitors enjoying 3 hours of animated conversations—all these were features of PSU’s first Student Scientific Research Symposium on the last Friday afternoon in April. The event was instigated through PSU’s participation in the NIH-supported INBRE (IDeA Networks for Biomedical Research Enhancement) project, which currently supports the research programs of three faculty members and their students (over 20 in all). The Savage Welcome Center provided an elegant venue for what is hoped to become an annual event. Watch for this event next year, and stop by to follow the creative activities of remarkable PSU students and their faculty mentors.